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Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

Stepping aside from fly fishing for a moment…

Most of what you hear about Medicine and medical research today involve potential revenue and profits for the major players (big pharma, genetic research labs, medical research labs etc…). There has been a push for patents in everything from future pharmaceutical drugs to newly discovered and even yet undiscovered genes. It is refreshing then when true sharing of free data and research occurs with the combined goal of finding a cure to end disease. The end result of this collaborative effort is simple… we need more of it.

‘Rare Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer’s’

By GINA KOLATA, New York Times 8/12/10

In 2003, a group of scientists and executives from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the drug and medical-imaging industries, universities and nonprofit groups joined in a project that experts say had no precedent: a collaborative effort to find the biological markers that show the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in the human brain.

Now, the effort is bearing fruit with a wealth of recent scientific papers on the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s using methods like PET scans and tests of spinal fluid. More than 100 studies are under way to test drugs that might slow or stop the disease.

And the collaboration is already serving as a model for similar efforts against Parkinson’s disease. A $40 million project to look for biomarkers for Parkinson’s, sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, plans to enroll 600 study subjects in the United States and Europe.

The work on Alzheimer’s “is the precedent,” said Holly Barkhymer, a spokeswoman for the foundation. “We’re really excited.”

The key to the Alzheimer’s project was an agreement as ambitious as its goal: not just to raise money, not just to do research on a vast scale, but also to share all the data, making every single finding public immediately, available to anyone with a computer anywhere in the world.

No one would own the data. No one could submit patent applications, though private companies would ultimately profit from any drugs or imaging tests developed as a result of the effort.

For the rest of the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/health/research/13alzheimer.html?_r=1&hp

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No time to post for awhile but in the meantime…

 

Craig man accused of ramming humpback whales

by The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A man accused of ramming two humpback whales in the waters near Craig has reportedly reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

The Anchorage Daily News reports the deal calls for 44-year-old Kevin B. Carle to plead guilty to harassing whales. He would face a $1,000 fine and two years on probation.

Carle operated a 34-foot jet boat that ferried loggers and supplies between Craig and logging camps. Prosecutors say he veered to hit whales two times in 2008 in Trocadero Bay and near Breezy Bay.

Carle wouldn’t say why he rammed the whales. It’s unknown if they were injured.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Craig man accused of ramming humpback whales

 

Judge lets anti-Pebble lawsuit go forward 

By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK

ebluemink@adn.com

A judge has declined to dismiss a court case alleging that state regulators violated the Alaska Constitution when they issued exploration and land-use permits to companies drilling at the Pebble copper and gold prospect in Southwest Alaska.

Lawyers for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources recently argued that all six counts of the civil lawsuit, filed by Pebble opponents, should be dismissed on summary judgment.

Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth on Friday dismissed one count in the lawsuit but allowed the others to proceed to trial. He also ruled that the trial will address only the permits at Pebble rather than the validity of the state’s permitting system for mineral exploration, in general…

Read more: http://www.adn.com/2010/07/13/1365307/judge-lets-anti-pebble-lawsuits.html#ixzz0tbiQfzKq

 

Woman chases black bear in effort to save pet rabbit

By LISA DEMER

ldemer@adn.com

HEARD PET’S CRIES: Woman pursued bruin in her stocking feet but couldn’t rescue rabbit.

A black bear snatched up a partially paralyzed pet rabbit from the owner’s yard in Muldoon on Thursday morning, and the rabbit’s owner gave chase. But she couldn’t rescue her bunny, named George, from the teeth of the bear…

…The owner heard her rabbit’s cries and chased the bear across several yards in her stocking feet, police said. She went down an alley before the bear turned and confronted her. But the bear didn’t give up the rabbit…

…George was known in the neighborhood because his back legs were paralyzed and he scooted around with the help of a two-wheeled cart fashioned by the owner, police said. The owner has a number of rabbits, said police Lt. Dave Parker. George was in the front yard inside a wire and wood fence that the bear jumped, Parker said…

Read more: http://www.adn.com/2010/07/08/1359438/woman-chases-black-bear-in-effort.html

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Spring in Alaska is slowly trickling along away from the now half-year long winter. The April snowstorm two days prior that left mouths agape and 8 inches of white is losing ground to steamy, wet pavement. The season’s first trip has been set and nothing can keep us away from the river.

The popularity of our sport in Alaska has increased in the past decade. Couple this increased interest with little to no additional access to remote waters and the locals have become overcrowded.  In an attempt to maintain as much of the ‘old days’ as possible, experienced fly fishers have resorted to stealth not in terms of fishing per se but as a way of keeping favorite runs secret.

Hero shots of proud fly fishers holding their prize with ear-to-ear grins are great as long as proper fish handling and photo cropping are done to hide the exact location of the catch. In today’s online and real-time society, a hero shot can be spread in a matter of microseconds worldwide. More damage can be done with one photo and description of the where, when and what was used to catch the trout than any other method.

We are fortunate to live in a place like Alaska. Everyone has the right to enjoy her resources as long as we do a part in maintaining and even improving watersheds. Exploration, trial and error are what make many experiences that much more memorable rather than browsing to get any and all answers. The same method goes in becoming a truly experienced fly fisher.

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Haitian Red Cross volunteer Jean Zacharie delivers first aid to 1 month old- Deborah Fatima, mother died in quake. Photo: American Red Cross/Talia Frenkel

In a world that at times seems so unfair in it’s random acts of nature, Haiti felt the devastation this past Tuesday in the form of a massive earthquake and aftershocks that leveled the foundation of an already impoverished nation. The fact that over 50% of Haitians live on less than $1 a day is a fact that many of us cannot comprehend or begin to imagine. From this nightmare that has tallied a reported 100,00-140,000 estimated deaths reveals the true nature of humanity. A flood of donations, volunteers and desperately needed help is exponentially siphoning in from all over the world.

I watched tonight’s news as an American physician was checking on the comfort of hundreds of severely injured children waiting for supplies to arrive. One teenage girl who suffered major injuries was pleading for help. Noticeably upset, all the physician could do was to make her as comfortable as he could. This is when the girl put her hand on the physician’s forehead and calmly stroked it while she said in French, ‘it will be okay, things could be worse’. 

Our donation has been sent but one question that came to mind after clicking the ‘confirm’ button was what will credit card companies do with the huge profit from all of the online donations? My hope is that they too will join the world in saving Haiti.

UPDATE: Credit Card Companies Waive Fees For Select Haiti Charities

American Red Cross Photo Essay:

http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_haiti_video_landing

If you can, please donate today:

American Red Cross

http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main&s_src=RSG000000000&s_subsrc=RCO_Donate_OnlineGiving

UNICEF

http://www.supportunicef.org/site/pp.asp?c=9fLEJSOALpE&b=1023561

World Vision

http://www.worldvision.org/worldvision/eappeal.nsf/egift-haiti-quake-relief?open&campaign=113655120&cmp=KNC-113655120v

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